Brilliant! You’ve finally completed all your domestic duties. You’ve put the kids to bed. You settle down with your partner to watch some abhorrent CGI crapfest when your significant over gestures to you with her outstretched arms and involuntary yawn, indicating that they’re going to bed for an “early night”. “Oh yeah!” you exclaim with great relish having read the subtext in their sudden prostrated admittance. It’s been too long since we’ve spent some quality time with one another, and such intimacy has to be utilised whenever the rare opportunity arises, to sustain a deeply connective relationship with your spouse. “Are you ready to be turned on?” you coo. With a quick peck on the cheek, a nurturing exchange of pleasantries, ensuring that they sleep long and comfortably, waving your other half good night, safe in the knowledge that they couldn’t possibly leave you for a more affectionate consort….as you remain downstairs to play your neglected PlayStation (or whatever your preferred means of gaming is) until you awake at 3am greeted by the static words “Game Over” etched across the screen of a long since passed battle. “My how I’ve missed you darling”. Of course there is a far greater threat to gaming than mere marital or parental concessions. Oh yes there is a far more assertive danger that lurks in the furtive servitude of your consoles inanimate dormancy. An enduring hindrance that provokes world-wide agitation with its protracted obstinacy. The compulsory interference of the dreaded software update! How I loath them!
As necessary as some of these patches can potentially be their automated intermissions can be incredibly disruptive, refuting the whimsical spontaneity associated with gaming. The ability to casually select a game to play is compromised because of an expanded update that could take up to an hour to implement! If you have a limited window to indulge in games like me then this is an unacceptable restriction. Now you have to manage, delegate or even prioritize other content just to free up time to install a patch for the game you wanted to play. My favourites are the ones that ask you if you’d like to continue without first downloading the requested update. You respond with a yes but are then prompted that you can’t until the necessary update has been implemented. Great. Thanks. Why bother asking me then? Games now become inaccessible, forcing you to yield to its data consuming whims. Sure most software updates require marginal space to facilitate the downloaded amendments, but when there’s 1, 2 or even 5 separate games in need of updates then all of those auxiliary space soon accumulates, exceeding the internal storage facilities by a ridiculous margin. Data consumption is mercifully a negligible thief for me thanks to some genius foresight on my part, with the installation of an expanded capacity in the form of a 2TB HDD. Having replaced the default storage system mitigates concerns regarding the allocation of game storage as well as updates, but still doesn’t help the speed or consistency of them. You can of course alleviate the problem by downloading updates in the background while you play an alternative game, but unless it’s a single player game that doesn’t require Internet connection then you’ll have to share your router. Besides you shouldn’t have to compromise what game you want to play! By far the worse thing about updates and patches to my mind is that the majority are generated to fix specific systemic issues within the game. Surely the game shouldn’t suffer such persistent maladies in the first place?
I accept that there are a number of variables that you can’t always predict nor adequately prevent. A game as expansive and interactive as Skyrim for instance is understandably going to suffer a few innocent textural blemishes. But a recent update on the PS4 and Xbox One version had to be generated to swiftly correct a glitch that forced the game to crash after 5 minutes?! A problem that didn’t exist until a previous update. So what, is was added? Evidently quality control is a minor consideration and resolving disputes as well as issuing a sizeable reparation seems to be reserved for after it has been mass-produced and distributed? Is it ignorance, laziness or just an acceptable practice to permit the release of a game riddled with bugs with companies only feeling obliged to redeem their credibility with belated initiatives to remedy the issue. I may sound old, bitter, nostalgic and perhaps even a little medicated, but forgive me if I yearn for the days that I could play any old game – regardless of how long ago it was since I last played it, without being concerned about game breaking glitches and intrusive updates that consume precious gaming experience. Functionality is a distinct advantage long since humbled and it’s funny how a modern game can be praised simply because it works. When has that ever been an acceptable barometer for a games quality?
How do you deal with updates? And do you think companies deliberately ignore glitches just to get the game out? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.